CollegeStudent!EE x Mermaid!ATh first met pls
“What are you?” Mochi asked, staring at the creature he’d found.
He liked walking along the beach. It tended to clear his mind from thoughts of papers due, dumb professors, and dumber friends. But this was an unexpected distraction - a man with teal hair and a teal tail in place of legs, sunning himself on a rock.
“What does it look like I am?” the man answered snappishly. His tail flicked in the water, tossing droplets into the air to spatter across his (very nice, Mochi noticed distractedly) body. “A b’tulat ha’yam. Do you not know one of us when you see one?”
“A- I can’t pronounce that.” Mochi shook his head. “Uh, we call you mermen. Assuming you are a mermaid.”
“You just called me two different things,” the merman pointed out. “Which is it? Merman, or mermaid?”
Mochi shook his head to try and clear it. The merman was still there “Merman for guys, mermaid for girls and the entire species?” This felt surreal. “Wait, wait. Aren’t you supposed to be singing to me or something? Trying to lure me in and eat me?”
“I am full,” the merman said with such blitheness that Mochi stumbled back in shock. Then the merman laughed. “No. We do not eat humans. You have odd myths about us, no? Singing is a good way to communicate underwater. Tunes carry better than words.”
“I… Okay.” This still felt like a dream. Mochi pinched himself. It hurt. The merman tilted his head.
“What are you doing?”
“Are you real?” Mochi asked. The merman flicked his tail once more, sending another glittering shower of water over himself.
“I tire of your inane questions, anoshi. Yes. I am real. Why are you still bothering me?”
“Just curious.” Mochi stared for a moment more, taking in the way his hair and tail matched in shimmering blue, his pale skin and well-defined muscles. “Um. So… I’m Ain, but my friends call me Mochi. What’s your name?”
“My name is not important to the likes of you. But my title among my people is Armae Tzaumautorgie.”
Shit. Mochi knew he was going to butcher that name. “Arme… Thaumaturgy?”
“Close enough.” The mermaid smiled, revealing sharp teeth. “You are a curious creature, if slightly banal. I shall see you again tomorrow at this time.”
And before Mochi could protest, the merman was gone, sliding back into the sea. Only a disappearing ripple in the wave-broken water showed he was there at all.
Mochi sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, already wondering if he’d imagined the entire encounter.
“Arme Thaumaturgy,” he repeated. “Arme. Guess I should come back tomorrow and check if this was all real.”